At a time of polarization in the United States and divisions in the Church, Catholic Social Thought offers affirmative ways to work together to defend human life and dignity, pursue justice and peace, and advance the common good in our country.
Four respected leaders explored how the moral principles of Catholic Social Thought help overcome polarization and addressed key challenges in a divided and sometimes demoralized society. The diverse panel included Helen Alvaré, a law professor and Vatican advisor; Cardinal Blase Cupich, archbishop of Chicago; Archbishop José Gómez, vice president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; and Sister Teresa Maya, president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.
They discussed and analyzed the following questions:
- What are the sources of polarization and of unity in these challenging times for our nation?
- How is Pope Francis calling us to share “the joy of the Gospel” in the United States?
- What are opportunities to bring Catholic social teaching into public life to help believers become “salt, light, and leaven” in American democracy?
- How can Catholic convictions on human life and dignity, a priority for the poor, protection of religious freedom, and welcome for immigrants and refugees be advanced in a polarized, pluralistic, and increasingly secular society?
- How can faith help overcome divisions instead of contribute to polarization?
This Public Dialogue was part of a Convening of over 75 diverse Catholic leaders that came to Georgetown for three days of dialogue, prayer, and reflection on “Overcoming Polarization Through Catholic Social Thought.”
The Dialogue and Convening were made possible by the GHR Foundation with essential support from the Raskob Foundation and the Democracy Fund.
Helen Alvaré is professor at the Scalia Law School of George Mason University, an advisor to the Pontifical Council of the Laity and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and founder of WomenSpeakforThemselves.com.
Cardinal Blase Cupich is archbishop of Chicago and a member of the Vatican Congregation for Bishops.
Archbishop José Gómez of Los Angeles is vice president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Sister Teresa Maya is president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and the Congregational Leader of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word of San Antonio.